CM . . .
. Volume XXII Number 21. . . .February 5, 2016
Camp Disaster. (Orca Currents).
Victoria, BC: Orca, 2016.
113 pp., pbk., pdf & epub., $9.95 (pbk.).
ISBN 978-1-4598-1114-0 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-4598-1115-7 (pdf), ISBN 978-1-4598-1116-4 (epub).
Grades 4-6 / Ages 9-11.
Review by Teresa Iaizzo.
Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.
The giggles behind me get louder. Then the whispers turn into comments.
“Who does she think she is anyway?”
“Do you know where she lives?”
“My mother won’t even let me walk around that neighborhood.”
“Can you imagine living there?”
With each step, Camp Singing Hills feels more like Camp Disaster.
Camp Disaster is Frieda Wishinsky’s latest foray in the world of middle school literature. In it, readers meet Charlotte Summers, a young girl who goes to camp for two weeks during the summer. What should be an ideal summer vacation soon turns to disaster as Charlotte must deal with being the target of a merciless bully.
On her first day at camp, Charlotte meets Madison, the camp bully who is ruthless to Abby, a camp counselor. Charlotte, who sympathizes with Abby, decides to intervene which only makes her an even bigger target. As a result, she is taunted mercilessly by the girls at summer camp through a series of pranks that start off being harmless, but which soon turn cruel.
What infuriates Charlotte the most is the fact that no one is stepping up to help her. She feels all alone until she meets Ellie who helps her realize that the other girls are just afraid of Madison, and that Charlotte is not alone but does have friends. Once she realizes this, Charlotte starts to gain confidence in herself and stands up not only for herself, but all the girls who are being bullied at the camp. After the standoff, readers learn, not surprisingly, that Madison is facing her own demons, including the fact that she was once bullied herself, and her dad is going to prison for embezzling funds.
Ultimately, I really liked the story’s plot: a young girl goes to camp for the summer where she encounters bullies and must learn to stand up for herself and others who are also being bullied. The plot is not only believable but also very relevant to today’s youth. However, the writing, itself, was very pedantic and predictable. There were no revealing plot points, no character development, no surprises. However, this book may resonant with readers who are interested in fiction that deals with bullying. And for that reason, Camp Disaster is worth a try.
Recommended with Reservations.
Teresa Iaizzo is a Senior Library Assistant with the Toronto Public Library.
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